any electrician out there?

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Steve, not to be argumentative, but you don't have a shred of information to determine what you've written. There are bazillions of houses with 100 amp services, that have every modern convenience and plenty of electricity to power them

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Sorry, just responding to what Michelle wrote, which were just shreds in the first place.
And yes, there are lots of 100 amp services out there just chugging along. But we weren't talking about upgrading them to higher numbers, were we? And there are even limits to how many things can be plugged into a 100 amp service. But then, that 100 amp rating is limited to 70-80% of capacity from the get go.
But you knew all that, right?
Steve
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You can plug an awful lot of things into a 100 amp service, and no, it's not limited to 70 -80% of capacity

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Correct. Just keep plugging things in until it goes dark or lights up the whole neighborhood.
Michelle has written in with a question that is similar to: "What's the weather like"?
Well, I don't know, Michelle. I don't live where you are. Why are you asking here for something that you should be consulting a local professional for?
I have these sores around my ..... well ...... you know ............. Yesterday, my fingers started falling off. I'm down to eyesight in one eye.
What should I do?
Doesn't make a lot of sense for someone to be writing in here in vague terms asking about things they really need to find out themselves where they live.
But it does make for fun conversation.
Steve
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From what I read, Michelle questioned if it was safe and legal to replace a defective 90 amp main breaker with a 100 amp main breaker, as was recommended by the electrician she hired. I don't see the ambiguity

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Within the 100 year bell curve.

Well, if you haven't been running around on your wife then I suggest you start by shooting her. BTW, free medical in the pokey.

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No, not at all. Reading comprehension problems?

Neither do I.
I don't live where you are. Why are
Why do you care about where anyone but the OP lives? That's OT.

The OP DID that; reading comprehension problems again?

It's your monitor! Get far, far away from it! And if the condition doesn't improve within three months, see a PA or veterinary doc or something; maybe a free clinic. Most will keep your diseases a secret these days.

But ... but ... that's what you did! Got reading comprehension/projection problems too? And, did you ASK any questions? Did you ask her for the numbers on her meter? Did you ask for any info on the box? ALL things that anyone could likely see and write down with a modicum of instruction. No, you didn't. But you sure still had a hell of a lot to say with your "recommendations".

No, it makes for a pretty stupid set of posts from you, which have now been memorialized for all time in archives at Google and about a thousand other such repositiories around the world for all to see now and after your grand-children's children pass on. You should learn to us x- lines if you dont' want to be recorded for all posterity. And after that you could use some education. And interpersonal skills. And real world knowledge and experience. And ...

You're wrong, because these groups are a great place for confirmation and verification of information if nothing else. The majority of people have answered based simply on the input given and nothing more, because there WAS enough to make certain judgements on. Some others felt the need to suggest spending huge amounts of money on service upgrades and rewiring et al, and although those are options, there was nothing in the OP to indicate that money was no problem; in fact, it seems it would have been, or an electrician would have made different recommendations than suggesting that the breaker was simply likely worn out, and recommending a replacement. He could have gone for the big bucks first, but he didn't, and if he's an actual electrician as many have pointed out, he's doing the right thing by the OP. We don't know what else he suggested as possible alternatives, but we do know he said the brkr appeared faulty and that replacing it should put the OP back in business again. Since it's his rep on the line, it's likely to be good advice. OTOH, had the OP said the electrician had this 50A camper breaker sitting in his truck, and between that and rewiring 3/4 of the house in 14 ga wire, he could fix her right up, well, there might have been a LOT of responses that weren't nearly as agreeable here! Verify and confirm; it can be a LOT of comfort to those wondering if they have decent advice or not, and I believe the concensus presented here, is the correct one.
And lastly, the OP wanted to know if a 90 vs a 100 amp brkr would be an OK change? Which of course it is.
Flame back, whatever you like; I won't be answering you. I've vented and had my mental entertainment now, so there's nothing left to say.
HTH, I really do.
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You've covered the subject, and out of the list of usual suspects, given the best advice yet.
But, you really do need to get a life.
Steve
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wrote:

No, it's not. Please stop giving advice on subjects you are ignorant of.
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You do NOT have to rewire the entire house to do a service upgrade. You will need a new panel, riser conduit and a new weather head, along with heavier gauge cable.
You may however have to do SOME upgrades in the house to meet current code. That may mean a GFCI in bathrooms, kitchen, and garage, etc.
If I understand you right, the outside disconnect panel contains the main breaker and the A/C breaker and then uses an inside subfeed box for the rest of the house. If that's what you're saying, and the subfeed box is up to code, your electrician can do a switch out to 100 amp.
Personally, I'd pay the difference to upgrade the outside disconnect to either 150 or 200amp. You're talking about the difference in price of the panel, larger diameter conduit up to the service drop, heavier gauge aluminum wire, new meter box, and a new weather head. Materials wise, you're talking about $150. Labor wise, the additional labor to run new conduit will probably be about 2 hours. The utility will have to upgrade the service drop.
In either case, whether you replace the box or upgrade the service, I'm sure this job will require a permit. If the inspector says the current wire is ok for 90 amp, then it is.
Whatever the inspector says code is, that's what code is! That's the first thing you learn in contractor school.
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So, other than the larger panel, larger feed wires, larger wires in some of the circuits, adapting some circuits to GFCI, adding receptacles, and rerouting switches and a hundred other things, it's no big deal?
Steve
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Rick-Meister wrote:

What!
We're talking $30 for a breaker ($75 labor) vs. $1200-$1500 to upgrade to 200-Amp service.
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I too, agree that the electrician on the job, is in the best position to make these determinations. While 90 amps is relatively small, it can be perfectly adequate in a smaller house with non electric cooking, clothes drying, and heating. There is no panel or service equipment rated at 90 amps, it would be a minimum or 100 amps, and any cable used in a service that would be adequate for 90 amps would also be adequate for 100 amps. #2 aluminum or #4 copper is what's required for 100 amps, anything smaller wouldn't be adequate for 90 amps either
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On Fri, 27 Jun 2008 06:08:21 -0700 (PDT), Michelle

Probably. To be absolutely sure ask another locally licensed electrician and upgrade to whatever is needed. It is also a good idea for one electrician to inspect another electrician's work, nobody's perfect.
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Umm, you don't think the local board will be inspecting? What do you know that I don't?
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ALOE.org wrote:

He may know that there's no inspection required. The OP could live in the boonies.
I live the 4th largest city in the nation. There's no inspection, or permit, required for fiddling with the breaker box. That includes replacing it.
I think my city decided to put the money required for permitting, inspections, and enforcement into the fire department budget.
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Michelle wrote:

Hi, Replacing with another 90 amp one will not solve the problem. Usually a/c draws 20 amp, 220V. Moving to 100 amp breaker may solve the problem if the over load situation with the a/c is less than 10 amp.
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My in-laws had a similar problem.
I installed a new 200 amp panel, and converted the old panel into a subpanel. I moved the heavy appliances (stove, water heater, electric heat, AC, etc.) to new breakers in the new panel, and slowly replaced the rest of the wiring as time and money allowed.
If you take your major appliances off the old panel, you should be able to downsize to a 60 or 80 amp breaker for the lights and things until you can get things rewired into the new panel.
Good luck,
Anthony
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Michelle wrote:

100 amp breaker would be fine as it probably feeds the AC breaker too. If it still trips after that you need to upgrade to 200 amps.
--
Claude Hopper :)

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I'd say go for the 100 amp brkr. It's a good start point, lots cheaper than any of the alternatives, and sounds like sound advice from someone on site that could have tried to sell you a bunch of expensive fixes, assuming his license and insurance are current. Be sure he gets the required permits and permissions if needed. He'll know what they are but you can also always call your local zoning office for info too.
If that doesn't fix it, then perhaps more expensive repair will be needed, but IMO it's a very sensible place to start. The over-price will be negligible if more serious work is required, but I don't think it will be.
You also *could* have someone make measurements (unless it's already been done) to insure that a new breaker is going to suffice; but if it's a 90A, it's fairly old already to start with, if it's outdoors, conditions are worse on it, etc. etc. etc.. Measurements will cost another few $ but sometimes it's better to be sure right up front when you're close as you seem to be. It's quick & easy to make such measurements though you might have to go in and turn a few things on while they're measuring. Appreciate your electrician; he seems to be doing the right things to get you out of trouble at minimum expense.
HTH
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